[extropy-chat] Re: Pre-singularity economics

Dan Clemmensen dgc at cox.net
Fri Apr 16 18:14:56 UTC 2004

Sorry, Chris, I did not do the math. However, one in 10,000 is probably 
not too bad. The "lost"energy shows up as heat, and heat is the  basic 
intermediate output of this system. Furthermore, we can radically reduce 
the the error by shifting to larger nuclei, and shifting to fission 
rather than fusion. This in the fission scenario, nanotech wins because 
we can sort the by-products and recycle them using nanotech, thus 
recycling the radioactive waste by recycling until each atom is rendered 
into a stable isotope. Again, if nanotech is too fragile in a 
radioactive environment,we use nanotech to build and rebuild bulk 
chemical separation systems.

Chris Phoenix wrote:

> Dan Clemmensen wrote:
> > Nanotech is the design of a system with atomic-scale precision. It 
> is not
> > restricted to designing small devices: witness your aircraft carrier.
> > Nanotech permits us to build extremely precise beam colliders with
> > which we can collide protons or deuterons, or alpha particles with
> > near-perfect efficiency.
> I calculated once that Heisenberg uncertainty would prevent us from 
> colliding beams with any reasonable efficiency.  I think I posted it 
> on sci.nanotech, but neither Google nor discuss.foresight.org seem to 
> have it archived.
> Anyway, the calculation went like this:
> Assume that 1 nm away from the collision, you have minimized the error 
> in position and velocity as much as Heisenberg will allow.
> Then calculate how much the beam will diverge in the next nanometer. 
> (You have to plug in the speed of the beam.)
> Then calculate the ratio of the cross section of the beam to the 
> nuclear cross section for fusion.
> That should tell you what percent of particles will fuse.
> All other particles will be deflected randomly, making it very hard to 
> recover their acceleration energy.
> I think the answer was something like 1 in 10,000 attempted collisions 
> will actually fuse.
> Chris

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